Punjab Cabinet expansion: Voices of resentment show fissures in ruling Congress party in Punjab

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Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh along with Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar and party’s Punjab affairs in-charge Asha Kumari is in Delhi for holding discussions with AICC president Rahul Gandhi for expansion of his Cabinet. -Photo courtesy The Indian Express

After resignation by MLA Santokh Singh Gilzian from all party posts, now party legislators Gurkirat Singh Kotli and Navtej Cheema express resentment feeling “ignored” by the party high command  

Sharat K Verma, The Hush Post: Even before the new ministers are yet to take oath of office and secrecy for joining the Capt Amarinder Singh government on Saturday evening, the voices of resentment have already started highlighting the fissures in the ruling Congress party in Punjab.

After Tanda Urmur’s Congress MLA Sangat Singh Gilzian, who resigned from all party posts, now Gurkirat Singh Kotli, party MLA from Khanna and grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Late Beant Singh, and party legislator from Sultanpur Lodhi, Navtej Cheema have publicly spoken against “being ignored by the party high command” in the Cabinet expansion.

Speaking to News 18 channel Gurkirat Singh Kotli expressed his resentment over being “ignored” by the party in the Cabinet expansion.  “I accept the decision of the party high command but the families of traditional Congress, leaders who have been continuously winning elections for the party, should not have been ingored,” Kotli, Congress MLA from Khanna said.

Kotli also reportedly said that his grandfather and former Chief Minister of Punjab, Late Beant Singh had sacrificed his life for restoring peace and normalcy and bringing development in the state that was badly affected by terrorism during that time. Kotli, however, has not indicated of taking any step of resigning from party like Gilzian.

Meanwhile, Congress legislator from Sultanpur Lodhi Navtej Cheema has also publicly aired his displeasure over being “ignored” in the Cabinet expansion. He has reportedly said that he will bring his resentment in the notice of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and the party high command. He has ruled out the his resignation saying that it does not serve any purpose.

Before that, party’s MLA from Tanda Urmur Sangat Singh Gilzian had resigned from the posts of AICC membership and vice-president of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) feeling ignored in the expansion of Capt Amarinder Singh government. He, however, has said that he would keep serving the people of his constituency as an elected representative of the area.

Earlier on Friday, a miffed Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, Sunil Jakhar, had reportedly left the meeting room when CM Capt. Amarinder Singh managed to get his close aide, Rana Gurmit Singh Sodi, into the list of nine new ministers. Jakhar was said to be unflinchingly opposed to Sodhi.

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